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Re: Miller's FFF Musings


Before going any further, I'd like to get two things straight.  First, I
wasn't musing, I was stating experience.  Second, let's all remember that
Dwight *sells* American-Flag fish, so his reply may be a matter of
protecting a vested interest and not a matter of trying to get the truth

On Thu, 22 Feb 2001, Dwight wrote:

> So...if you were fully aware of the fact that single-sex arrangements of
> Females and Non-breeding males or Females w/ juvenile males are in fact the
> ones to make good community fish or "reasonable tank partners" as you
> grudgingly described it, then why the H*** did you put those fancy male
> guppies in with adult male and female FFF?!  Just what did you expect?
> Doesn't that seem contradictory?

Gee, Dwight, I wasn't really aware of all this until *after* I put the
guppies in the tank with the flag fish.  It was a true learning

> To the best of my knowledge, Dwarf Cichlids [for example] mostly make good
> community fish.  Yet we all know how aggressive and territorial they all
> get when they are breeding. Do we thus abandon them to Cichlid only tanks?
> Nonsense!  Instead we prevent them from breeding so we can enjoy them w/
> other inhabitants.  FFF breed much more easily than do Dwarf Cichlids and
> the male becomes aggressive once courtship begins.  Knowing this, separate
> mature males from females if you want community aquarium harmony.  Check
> out this article by our own Wright Huntley:
> http://www.aquafind.com/articles/jordan.html

I wouldn't advise anyone to keep dwarf cichlids in a community tank; they
aren't particularly good community fish.  I think we all like observing
the breeding and brooding behavior of our fish.  It would really be a
shame to keep dwarf cichlids without keeping them together.  The same
thing can be said for flag fish.  Their breeding and brooding behavior is
interesting and the male's colors are truly beautiful when he's breeding.
Non-breeding females and juveniles are pretty doudy fish.

The flag fish were not breeding at the time they tore into my
guppies.  So it appears that flag fish can be aggressive even when not

> Miller says:
> >  I do have problems with >a tough short-haired algae that hugs the
> >substrate and thrives in dim
> >light.  They don't do much at all about that stuff.
> A "Tough-Short-haired-algae".."Thrives in dim light".. Doesn't that sound
> like STAGHORN algae or some BBA variant?  Whoever heard of TOUGH hair
> algae??  Personally, I've never had a problem w/ this algae so I can only
> go on what others told me:  The FFF will nip the ends off of this stuff
> (some say they don't).  They can't remove what's left (all agree).  I'm
> told this does have a deleterious effect on that algae, but the FFF don't
> really dig it.

It is a green algae, probably what Diana Walstad describes as "mat" algae.
It likes to grow on the substrate and it gets tangled up in carpet plants.
It isn't BBA or any other sort of red algae.  If you haven't run into,
then count yourself lucky.

> Now, I'm totally confused with the inherent contradictions in your musings.
>  First, you seem to suggest they don't eat the hair algae then you say the
> effectively remove it.  Which is it?  Besides the fact that few people have
> ever reported Ruby barbs consistently as "effective Algae eaters" (which
> algae?) the nebulousness of your first "algae" description can be
> interpreted several ways.

Only you could be confused by this, Dwight, and then only for some
self-perceived rhetorical advantage when you're trying to debate a point.
They removed the long, soft hair algae -- which wasn't much of a problem
to start with -- and they don't touch the short, tough hair algae that is
a problem in that tank.  They also damaged a lot of plants.

Some time ago (last year,I think) I gave a detailed description and
comparison of two recently setup tanks, one with flag fish and one with
female swordtails. The flag fish damaged the plants in their tank enough
that the plants couldn't get established before algae got a foothold in
the tank.  Their plant-damaging behavior actually caused the algae problem
in that tank.

I'm not reporting ruby barbs as consistent and effective algae control.
I'm reporting that ruby barbs did a better job than flag fish.  Female
swordtails also did a better job than flag fish.  What should I test them
against next?  Mollies?

Is there anyone out there who *doesn't* sell flag fish that want's to
stand up and tell us what a great community resident flag fish are, or to
tell us that they really are great at controlling algae?

Roger Miller